College of Engineering Hosting and Travel Policies

Stewardship Statement

Stewardship of the University’s financial resources is the responsibility of all employees. Financial stewardship typically includes developing, implementing, maintaining, and following proper administrative and accounting procedures, as well as complying with all relevant university, governmental, and regulatory requirements.

https://hr.umich.edu/about-uhr/statement-stewardship


Travel

Hosting

Alcohol

Gifts


Travel

The College defers to the University’s SPG regarding travel policies and procedures, with a few additional requirements noted below.

CoE Policy

  • All travel should include documentation supporting the business purpose as part of the receipt submission. Examples: conference agenda, program, invitation, etc. Websites for travel may be included but cannot be the stand-alone documentation.
  • When booking hotel/lodging/accommodations, the hotel room rate should not exceed $400 per night unless it is the published conference rate, government rate, Big 10 consortium rate. An exception can be made for reasonable single occupancy rates for certain destination cities (domestic and international). Charges exceeding the $400 per night rate are subject denial and will be considered a personal expense to the employee.  
  • Faculty child care funding must be pre-approved. http://adaa.engin.umich.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2013/07/CoE-Child-Care-Travel-Reimbursement-Policy.pdf
  • Cost of living expenses at remote locations while on sabbatical generally are not an allowable charge to University funds. https://adaa.engin.umich.edu/admin/sabbatical-request/

Best Practice

  • All international travel should be registered. https://global.umich.edu/travel-resources/register-your-travel
  • Faculty should not travel internationally (or domestically) with export control material on a laptop or any other device unless previously coordinated with IT and the UMOR Export Control Office.
    • If traveling internationally, the University recommends that faculty and staff take a loaner laptop or remove sensitive information from the device and reload upon return. The clean  laptop should contain only files necessary for the meeting or presentation. Those files should contain only fundamental research that is published and / or intended to be published and standard security precautions should be followed.  
    • Travelers should request a clean laptop from their department IT support or reach out to Engineering Administration Computer Support (EACS) in advance of the scheduled trip.
    • If traveling internationally, it is recommended that faculty use VPN access to communicate with home servers to access email and other files.

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Hosting

The use of University funds for hosting should be considered carefully. Hosting always should serve a valid business purpose; the facts that University personnel are involved and University business may be a point of discussion are not sufficient in and of themselves to justify the cost of meals and related expenses. In particular, hosting expenses should be carefully limited when only University personnel are involved.

Best Practice

  • Units are encouraged to work with local restaurants to pre-set a menu and ensure that all gratuities and other fees are considered to guarantee compliance with University hosting limits.
  • Expenses for student hosting activities designed to introduce candidates to student life in Ann Arbor (e.g., tickets to a basketball game) are allowable but should be carefully considered to ensure that the activities have wide appeal and are appropriate for the candidate population.
  • Costs for off-site retreats, while valuable, costs associated with these events should be carefully considered and adhere to regular hosting policies. In particular, the choice of venue (e.g., Palmer Commons versus Traverse City) may have a very significant impact on the total cost of the activity.
  • Departments should have a process in which the unit’s higher administrative authority pre-approves expenses.
  • When planning an event, units should understand the documentation regarding the details of the event and language the venue requires. If a signature is needed, the unit must work with procurement to be sure that all liability is reviewed and approved.
  • Retirement receptions for faculty or staff should be limited to no more than one reception.

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Alcohol 

College of Engineering (CoE) units may choose to serve alcoholic beverages at events.  Violation of University and CoE guidelines could have serious implications, including liability and fiduciary, for the responsible host and the College. 

Decisions regarding serving alcohol at CoE events should incorporate principles of safety and health in order to reduce the risk for both attendees and for the College. Faculty and staff are urged to model safe and healthy norms with regard to alcohol. In alignment with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practices, any faculty, staff, or student who chooses not to drink alcoholic beverages should feel comfortable, included, and accepted by colleagues in all formal and informal University business.

CoE Policy

 Best Practice

  • Serving alcohol at graduate student recruitment events is not considered a best practice. The following points should be considered when planning a recruitment event with alcohol present.
    • Events are not considered inclusive when alcohol is involved as there are a variety of reasons someone should not partake in alcohol, such as sobriety, religious convictions, etc.
    • The presence of alcohol can create a power dynamic
    • Pressure associated with whether or not you partake impacting your acceptance to UM during a recruiting event
    • Prior to the pandemic, alcohol is the #2 public health issue on campuses
    • The importance of supporting UM initiatives, such as the Collegiate Recovery Program, against substance abuse

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Gifts

“On occasion, a department may recognize the achievements of its faculty, staff, or other individuals by presenting awards, gifts, or prizes paid for out of University funds, as tokens of appreciation for outstanding work-related achievements, significant contributions, or major milestones.

As with all expenditures of University funds, money spent on awards, gifts or prizes must be spent ethically and in accordance with the law, delegated authority, and University policies and procedures. Certain awards, gifts and prizes must also be treated as taxable income for the recipient and processed accordingly by the University, as outlined in this policy and on the Tax Department website (http://www.finance.umich.edu/tax).”
(excerpt from UM SPG 501.12 Awards, Gifts, and Prizes)

Best Practice

  • University funds should not be used for non-work-related gifts that are more personal or seasonal in nature (e.g., holiday gifts, birthdays, etc.).

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